Identified wildfire victims reach 76, eight remain missing

Identified wildfire victims reach 76, eight remain missing

Seventy six victims of the wildfire that gutted a coastal town in east Attica killing at least 91 people and injuring scores have been identified, the police’s criminal investigation division said on Wednesday in its latest briefing.

The number of people officially unaccounted for stands at eight.

Environmental organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace, said the Mati fire was the deadliest in Greece's history.

Since the deadly blaze struck the town of Mati, the government and the opposition have quarrelled over whether an evacuation order was issued and whether rescue services responded in a timely manner.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised that the state will conduct an inquiry as to why hundreds of people found themselves trapped in the flames with no way of escape. He has also vowed to crack down on unlicensed construction, which the investigation has revealed blocked off escape routes toward the sea.

According to government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, the Environment Ministry has identified more than 3,000 illegal constructions in forests and along the coastline in the wider Athens region that have been marked for demolition.

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